One of my happiest chores here at Formula is writing the Action Boat Care column. I really enjoy spreading good news about boating in general and Formula in particular. It gives me the opportunity to express myself, teach others interesting facts, and bask in the warm glow of knowledge that at least a few people, if only out of sheer boredom, are going to pay attention to what I have to say for at least a few minutes.
My enchantment with this task actually lasts up until the moment I try to think of a subject for my newest article. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are all sorts of wonderful and fascinating things about our boats, but after working for Formula for 12 years, much of what makes our boats so special becomes sort of everyday and common. For this article I put myself in the mindset of someone relatively unfamiliar with our product; and once I did, it didn’t take long to come up with a subject worthy of our readers’ time: interior surfaces!
Oooohhh! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s something nearly all Formula models have in common: Corian®. This amazing material, developed by DuPont in 1967, is used by Thunderbird in many different applications ranging from galley counters and dinette tables to shower enclosure components and cabin accent trim. Everyone likes its versatility, durability and great looks.
In term of important first impressions to prospective buyers and long-term aesthetic satisfaction for owners, Corian is a perfect match for Formula. Corian reflects understated elegance and provides our cabins with a high-end environment aura that you really must see to appreciate. We use Corian with a matte/stain finish that is incredibly smooth and actually kind of “warm” to the touch.
Corian offers amazing versatility in construction. It can be treated like wood and rough-cut on the same CAD/CAM router used to cut our wood. It can be glued, bent and shaped in much the same way as wood. In other industries, Corian is even worked and molded into furniture, and with the recent discoveries of its acoustic properties, into guitars and flutes! This versatility gives our exclusive designer, John Adams, and our cabinet engineers a great tool in terms of combining artistry with functionality that can be utilized on a production line and showcased in the finished product. Corian is a blend of natural materials including minerals and high-performance acrylics that become a non-porous solid with color and pattern consistent throughout. If you ever tour our facility, please have your guide show you a 41 PC galley countertop. It’s actually made of three separate pieces, but once glued and finished, I would challenge you to point out the seams in the end product!
Perhaps most important of all, Corian is very practical in day-to-day use. Because it is nonporous, it is very easy to clean- germs and dirt have no seams or joints to settle into. As a boat-related component, the rounded edges are perfect and Corian resists damage from staining in a damp environment – mold or mildew aren’t going to take hold, because the solid surface cannot be penetrated by them. In addition, you can repair surface nicks and scratches quickly and easily right on your boat (see sidebar). Corian has been proven in both residential and commercial applications for years, and its practicality is proven again on your Formula.
The next time one of your guests asks why you chose a high-end product like Formula (or if you’re writing the monthly check for your boat loan and ask yourself the same thing), go below and look around at the quality and finish of the interior. Corian is typical of the top-of-the-line materials that will keep your resale value high for years to come and is just one more reason to take pride in your Formula. It is, without a doubt, the finest production boat of the water today. Good boating!
One of the beautiful things about Corian® is the relative ease with which it can be repaired if it scratched. Basically, repairs are performed in much the same way as fixing minor scratches or yellowing of gelcoat: just get rid of the damaged goods.
Now, that doesn’t mean ripping out your galley counter or throwing your dinette table overboard. What it means is just good old sanding and buffing. When repairing nicks or scratches, DuPont recommends sanding until the blemish is gone and then finishing with a Scotch-Brite ™ paid and abrasive cleanser. With the rare stain, it usually just takes the Scotch-Brite-and- abrasive treatment. In both instances, you are stripping off the damaged outer layer and exposing the new one below. Because the color and pattern is consistent throughout the Corian, the surface doesn’t show any noticeable differences once it is repaired. One of the reasons for this column on Corian is to remind owners what a great, easy-to-maintain product they have. I contacted DuPont for more information, and as it happens, they have nifty care package designed for residential users of Corian! This package includes a Care and Maintenance video as well as a Care and Maintenance starter kit appropriate for Formula finishes. Always eager to please and spread the word on the versatility of their product, DuPont is making a special offer to Formula owners, effective April 17, 2000.
To help keep Corian on board your Formula looking its best, order the Care and Maintenance package by dialing 1-800-730-7231. They will ship you the kit and video and bill your credit card $13.50. I have viewed the video and used the kit and recommend them, especially for anyone who is new to the Corian product and unsure of the procedures to perform minor repairs.
If you’d like to find out more about Corian® and its many uses, visit their website at www.corian.com.